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Lucy and the Bully Hardcover – September 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3—Lucy, a lamb, draws so well that all of her classmates want her to make pictures for them—all except Tommy, a bull, who torments her by "accidentally" knocking over her paints, breaking her model blackbird, and threatening her if she tells on him. Lucy keeps her mouth shut, but her mother notices the ripped storybooks, broken pencils, and her child's increasingly sad expression. Finally, Lucy tells what happened and is horrified when her mother calls the teacher. But the next day, it's Tommy who is sad and chastened, and Lucy actually feels a bit sorry for him. When she sees him drawing "a very good porcupine," the jealousy behind his bullying comes out, and she asks him to draw one for her, setting the stage for his apology and a new friendship. This simple story puts bullying in kids' terms, showing a positive world in which the adults are in control; one wishes that all situations were handled so well. The animal characters are conveyed through bright colors and thick strokes, and their expressive faces garner empathy for bully and victim alike. Overall, an appealing story on a timely topic.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* There are lots of books about bullies, but this one is especially thoughtful (and a pleasure to look at). It frames the problem around the relationship between a sweet lamb and a belligerent little bull. Lucy loves school, but she’d love it more if Tommy wasn’t in her class. When everyone oohs and aahs over Lucy’s drawing ability, Tommy spills paint on her pictures. Teacher, Mrs. Goosie, is oblivious, even as Tommy becomes more brutal toward Lucy’s artwork and stomps on her clay crow (which is really a blackbird). But instead of telling her mother, Lucy stuffs the bird in her backpack and says nothing. Every day things grow a little worse, until Lucy must confide in her mother . . . who calls the teacher . . . who calls Tommy’s mom. The next day a chagrined Tommy looks sad and alone; Lucy takes it upon herself to notice the excellent porcupine he’s drawing. It’s a hedgehog, but Tommy appreciates the attention. Some may object to parents actually solving the problem, but that’s the way it often works in real life. It’s Lucy’s willingness to go the extra mile that might inspire readers to do the same. Alexander’s child-friendly watercolors beautifully convey a range of emotions. An excellent note to parents and teachers discusses bullying and ways to combat it. A great discussion-starter for the playground set. Preschool-Grade 2. --Ilene Cooper

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company; 1 edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807547867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807547861
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 12 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Deb HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
There were all kinds of animal children at school. At Lucy the lamb's table there was a piglet, a duckling, a bunny and a chick. They all thought Lucy was a good artist. "You are so good at drawing, Lucy." Everyone was nice, but Tommy the bull wasn't. He just marched over to their table and toppled over her paint! Ms. Goosie, her teacher, who really didn't seem to notice that Tommy was a big nasty old bully, simply said the mess needed to get cleaned up.

The next day when Lucy was bringing her special art project home, Tommy, who was waiting for her, wrecked it. He threatened her by saying, "Don't tell on me, or else!" Things just keep getting worse and Lucy was so upset she didn't even want to go to school anymore. It was just awful to feel that way. Being bullied was one of the worst things that ever happened to her . . . would things ever be ok ever again?

Bullying is a serious problem for children of all ages. This book will tactfully assist the parent talk to a young child about how to handle a school bully. According to the Mayo Clinic approximately "half of all children will be bullied at some point during their school years." This book is an excellent way to talk to your child, whether or not your child is being bullied. An ounce of prevention goes long way when it comes to the emotional welfare of our children. In a note to parents and teachers Daniel Gill briefly talks about bullying and offers suggestions to combat and prevent it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By daisy2147 on September 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
What a wonderful book. My two and five year old both love it and like to talk through it and ask questions. It is good to show also that bullies have feelings too and there is a reason that they try to abuse power and push others around-feelings of jealousy, anger, sadness, wanting attention, etc... It will help kids who identify on either side. Wonderfully written and beautiful artwork too!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brandy C on January 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book to be perfect for younger elementary students. It is important for them to know that they should tell a trusted adult when another student is bullying them. The book also reflects a lot of feelings that a bully target might have- uncertainty, fear, and withdrawal. Excellent for explaining bullying to little ones.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daryl on April 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I fell in love with this book. The things that really set this book apart from the usual anti-bullying books for kids were

1) Parents and teachers are shown as being knowledgeable and in control. They are shown as acting in a way that is understanding and not at all dedicated to embarrassing or intent on making life harder for youngsters.

2) The completely unsaccharine feel of the book. There's no smarmy messages of unrealistic forgiveness or stereotyped characters.

3) And most importantly THIS BOOK TALKS ABOUT HOW BULLYS FEEL TOO. Lucy gets so much praise for her art while the bully sits jealously and lonely over in the corner. No one says anything good about his model while Lucy gets the star. While it's hard for children to understand that sometimes other kids may get the prize when they do not, it's very easy for boys and girls to look at the illustrations and see that the bully feels hurt and sad too. This made it very easy for us to have several talks after about why people sometimes do bad things, and how when we're bullied it's not because we have done something wrong, but rather because the other person has something more going on in their heart that we can sometimes see.

A truly wonderful book and a must have for any parents library collection, Lucy and the Bully should be seen as THE book on bullying for kids in younger grades.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Whatcha Reading Now? on September 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A sheep named Lucy is a talented artist whose drawings are admired by everyone at school except a bull named Tommy. This classroom bullie sets out to destroy everything Lucy creates. But Lucy doesn't seek help from her teacher or mother and takes the blame herself, until at last there's no denying someone put a hoof print into the middle of a cake she made. Lucy pleads with her mother not to call the teacher, but her mother assures Lucy this will be the best way to handle the situation.

Lucy worries all night about what will happen at school the next day, but it seems as though Tommy was worried too. At story and playtime he stays very quiet and apart from his classmates. During art, Tommy is hard at work on his not-very-good drawing. Lucy's heart goes out to him, she compliments his drawing, and asks if he would do one for her. Tommy is so flattered, he ultimately mirrors Lucy's kindness and the two become friends. In Lucy and the Bully, the adult intervention combined with Lucy's kind-hearted forgiveness bring an end to the situation. The illustrations are an adorable portrayal of a Kindergarten or pre-school class and the way the story is told through the characters is believable. Most important is that the solution shown is one that would likely work for very young readers.
-- Reviewed by Michelle Delisle
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